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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#16
Why think so narrowly?

Why must every cluster of matter be a "system" as we know them?

There ARE binary stars. And TRI-nary stars. There are stars with black holes in close orbit, the black hole slowly devouring the upper layers of its host. There are stars that are NOT stars, but simply the dying husk of a star, such as a brown dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

There are stars that are so massive and so bright that they outshine everything for thousands of light-years around, and are almost impossible to escape using conventional engines. So energetic and massive are these, that life is almost impossible in its orbit.

There are stars that haven't properly been born yet -- PROTO-stars, still congealing from a mass of gasses particulates, not yet old enough to have fully-formed planets or even a respectable belt of asteroids.

One little yellow star is BORING, there are loads of those. It's too simple! The Universe doesn't do simple. The Universe does chaos and endless variation and sometimes it's ugly and horrible and unusable and sometimes there's miraculous accidents like Earth.

Embrace the chaos! Give us a "system" that's nothing but the smoking ruins of blasted planets, strings of rock and dust spiraling 'round a pulsating neutron star. Or a system where the planets are scattered in erratic orbits between two binary partner stars -- one a blinding blue-white dwarf, the other a brooding red giant.

Give us a system where there IS no visible star -- just a black hole at the center of a system dominated by a massive, superjovian gas giant! The "system" being more a collection of moons orbiting the stoic superjovian, plus a healthy set of rings -- off in the distance, an invisible point-source of massive gravity marking the "real" center of the system.

You see the massive variation that can go into this?
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#21
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Gameplay > looks > realism :P
Yah, sad but true.

There's an ELITE clone that I've played lately -- I forget what it was called but it's an indie game in early Alpha.

It has realism in spades! Real orbital mechanics, real space environments, real space navigation, planetary movement, seamless landing and atmospheric flight, etc, etc.

If you're already a skilled pilot and navigator, you can play this game and have some fun. If you know about orbital mechanics from playing Orbiter and Kerbal Space Program, you can think with this game and fly an interplanetary transit successfully.

Add in sci-fi ships (with limited fuel ocrapocrap) realistic economics, space combat with realistic guns and missiles, etc, etc...

You would think that this would add up to a nice game, but it doesn't. I played a few hours, got the hang of how to fly a ship (after many deaths), got the hang of how to trade and make (sloooooow) money, then picked up a contract to kill someone else's ship.

First, I had to wait until the ship lifted off and got far enough away from the planet that the space police wouldn't kill me for opening fire. This took a good half-hour.

Realistic? Hells, yes! Fun? No.

When I finally had my target lined up, I opened fire and knocked his shields down a bit. Whereupon, my target flipped around and with perfect, unerring robot-accuracy, shot me down in one salvo.

Realistic? Yeah, I guess. Fun? Eh, no.

I reloaded from a save, tried again, and this time got my target's shields almost all the way down. We had a nice dogfight, both got in some pretty good shots, and then I went up in smoke. That was better, but still not really all that fun. The dogfight was a repetitive series of fly-by sprays of bullets, I felt more like I was playing roulette than sparring with a worthy adversary.

Second reload, tried again, did worse, died quicker.

Third reload, I equipped missiles. Couldn't figure out how to use them or how to get a lock on a target. Read a manual, said missiles weren't too effective on shielded targets. Used guns instead, dogfighted for a while, died again.

Arrgh.

This game had it all backwards -- LOTS of realism, all I could ever want. Graphics were okay, the planets were pretty and the ships looked kinda cool. Gameplay totally missing. They defined "gameplay" as "what could you actually do if it was a real space society" instead of trying to make a GAME out of it.

Gameplay over graphics, graphics over realism.
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#22
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
CutterJohn wrote:I really don't think headlights need a fancy purpose beyond 'get a better look at something in natural light'.

Most of those ideas for uses sound way too forced and artificial.
Gameplay > looks > realism :P
If gameplay > realism, as you suggest, then I suggest rocket engines, being realistic, are not good gameplay. Why limit ourselves to such realism? Surely we can think of something much more fun if we're not trying to appease sci fi nerds with depictions of space travel inside obviously technological ships, when we could be sailing the Aether hunting stellar whales.

But, of course, this is a silly position to take. This is a game that has chosen to depict itself in at least a semi plausible set of technologies. It is not at all unreasonable to ask that it sticks to it at least a little bit.

Besides which, your equation is wrong. Its:

Personal preference > All.

I find the ideas silly. That is all the justification necessary to dislike them. Except the looking at rocks in alternate frequencies. That one I don't mind.


Btw, you should go to that other thread where you use a realism argument against me and reply to yourself with that. ;)
Alcazabedabra wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Gameplay > looks > realism :P
Yah, sad but true.

There's an ELITE clone that I've played lately -- I forget what it was called but it's an indie game in early Alpha.
I think that game is called Pioneer. Its problems are not realism, but poor pacing, poor AI, and a poor interface. In other words, its just a bad game, and not because of any realistic mechanics they chose to implement. Those could have something to do with it as well, but they are secondary.
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#23
CutterJohn wrote:Btw, you should go to that other thread where you use a realism argument against me and reply to yourself with that. ;)
Well, touche xD

But to at least partially rescue my honor: it was an argument against your realism argument :P

Ok, back to topic.

Stations could have "self illuminating" spotlights, lamps that shine on the registry number or a landing pad. Because looks awesome :D
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#24
Hmm... idea.
"Headlights" could just be "normal" scanners (as with all the scanning that josh showed) but just with some fancy "light" graphics added and simpler controls?

What if the lights were the manual scanner, but instead being tuned for range they are tuned for precision/resolution/scanning bandwidth? :shock:

So the manual scanner would just be a subcategory of a whole plethora of limited FoV long range telescopes, short range "flashlights", target painters, etc!

Unification \o/


forward observers would mount target painter class lights to guide fire.

Police/miners would use flashlight type ones to scan for contraband/ore

And surveillance stations and scout ships would mount (multiple) telescope class scanners for long range info
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#28
It might be interesting to allow pilots to overload their headlights briefly, to dazzle enemy pilots, though overloading them for too long might cause them to explode. Higher-intensity lights could be bought for this purpose with less (or no) risk of blowing the lights.

If atmospheric flight/exploration ever makes it into the game post-release, having headlights or searchlights might be useful for locating fugitives or landing at poorly-lit landing pads.
Alcazabedabra wrote:Why think so narrowly?

Why must every cluster of matter be a "system" as we know them?

There ARE binary stars. And TRI-nary stars. There are stars with black holes in close orbit, the black hole slowly devouring the upper layers of its host. There are stars that are NOT stars, but simply the dying husk of a star, such as a brown dwarf, a neutron star, or a black hole.

There are stars that are so massive and so bright that they outshine everything for thousands of light-years around, and are almost impossible to escape using conventional engines. So energetic and massive are these, that life is almost impossible in its orbit.

There are stars that haven't properly been born yet -- PROTO-stars, still congealing from a mass of gasses particulates, not yet old enough to have fully-formed planets or even a respectable belt of asteroids.

One little yellow star is BORING, there are loads of those. It's too simple! The Universe doesn't do simple. The Universe does chaos and endless variation and sometimes it's ugly and horrible and unusable and sometimes there's miraculous accidents like Earth.

Embrace the chaos! Give us a "system" that's nothing but the smoking ruins of blasted planets, strings of rock and dust spiraling 'round a pulsating neutron star. Or a system where the planets are scattered in erratic orbits between two binary partner stars -- one a blinding blue-white dwarf, the other a brooding red giant.

Give us a system where there IS no visible star -- just a black hole at the center of a system dominated by a massive, superjovian gas giant! The "system" being more a collection of moons orbiting the stoic superjovian, plus a healthy set of rings -- off in the distance, an invisible point-source of massive gravity marking the "real" center of the system.

You see the massive variation that can go into this?
The word you're looking for is ternary.

Regardless of spelling, however, nothing about this thread precludes the possibility of systems (or sectors) of space with multiple or no stars, nor the presence of quasars or black holes or what have you. This thread is discussing the applications of headlights and searchlights, which would be useful in low-light situations that can arise regardless of the configuration of nearby heavenly bodies.

I am confident that if you searched the forums for more unusual astronomical arrangements, you would find a plethora of threads more appropriate for pipe dreaming about cosmological nonconformers than here.
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#29
Grumblesaur wrote:It might be interesting to allow pilots to overload their headlights briefly, to dazzle enemy pilots, though overloading them for too long might cause them to explode. Higher-intensity lights could be bought for this purpose with less (or no) risk of blowing the lights.
If the sensor/emission system is sophisticated enough that should come "naturally".

For example if sensors have a level where they get oversaturated and "blinded" by strong signals.

So the local sun becomes blinding just by being a strong signal source, big explosions and "searchlights" would also be blinding by being strong emitters.

for consistency "visually" blinding sources would have to have strong emissions in the visual frequency band which is contained in joshs frequency graph.
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Re: Headlights / Searchlights

#30
I'd be fine with being able to illuminate dark asteroids in an even darker system just because I thought i saw something there *shrug*
Do we really have to weaponize the Headlights? :shock:
((Not that I'd say anything against it...makes for more creative approaches :ghost: ))
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.

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